Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘beach nesting birds’

CWF Assists the State with Wintering American Oystercatcher Survey

Saturday, January 8th, 2022

By Todd Pover, Senior Wildlife Biologist

American oystercatcher winter flock.

Most people are surprised to hear that American oystercatchers are present in New Jersey in the winter. They usually associate the charismatic shorebird as a breeding species here. Our state’s wintering oystercatchers, a combination of breeders from further north and our own, are at the northern extent of the Atlantic coast wintering range.

Annual winter surveys have been conducted in New Jersey in recent years – at high tide they form large roost flocks in inlets, so they are more easily counted. Surveys are done on the ground over a 10-day period in December and this year a half-day aerial count via helicopter was also utilized to better inform the survey. This winter’s survey was organized and directed by the state’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program with assistance from partners, including CWF, and volunteers. CWF Biologists Meghan Kolk and Meaghan Lyon conducted several ground surveys and Todd Pover was one of three surveyors who flew the aerial survey.

As many as 1,000 individual oystercatchers can be present in the late fall/early winter along the Jersey Shore, primarily in the southern region, although counts were on the lower side this year with only 500-600 being tallied. The lower count was almost entirely the result of a very small flock within Hereford Inlet, which typically has one of the highest winter concentrations. Oystercatchers will shift further south along the Atlantic Coast during the winter when persistent extreme cold weather arrives in New Jersey, as it limits food availability. However, the weather was relatively mild leading up to the survey, so it isn’t clear why the numbers were lower this year.

A zoomed in view of wintering American oystercatcher flock through a spotting scope.

Beach Restoration Project Shows Promise for Piping Plovers at Barnegat Light

Saturday, July 4th, 2020
Piping plover chick feeding at the restoration-created pond.  Photo courtesy of Northside Jim.

Last winter the Conserve Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with Rutgers University, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service, and New Jersey Fish & Wildlife’s Endangered and Non-Game Species Program, completed the final stages of a beach restoration project in Barnegat Light State Park.

The project, which broke ground the winter before last, aimed to create more ideal habitat for the endangered piping plover away from human disturbance at Barnegat Light’s more recreationally busy beaches. This was accomplished by removing vegetation, grading dunes to be more suitable for nesting, and creating alternative feeding sites (i.e. ephemeral pools).

Now, with the beach nesting bird season at its peak and the final stages of the project complete, we can start to assess the effectiveness of the work that has been done.

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MAJOR INCREASE OF ENDANGERED SEABEACH AMARANTH PLANTS SOUTH OF SANDY HOOK

Thursday, December 26th, 2019

by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

NJDEP biologist measuring seabeach amaranth
Photo by NJDEP

An annual plant census along New Jersey’s coastal beaches south of Sandy Hook shows a significant surge in the number of seabeach amaranth, a federally threatened and state endangered plant species, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe announced today.

Biologists with the DEP and Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey counted 7,195 plants, a more than 600 percent increase from the 2018 total of 1,053 plants. Similarly, 1,591 of the plants are at Island Beach State Park, compared with 307 found there in 2018 — a more than 500 percent increase.

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New CWF podcast series focusing on climate change impacts on New Jersey’s wildlife debuts with beach nesting bird episode

Thursday, December 12th, 2019

by: Alison Levine, Communications Coordinator

New Jersey has more people per square mile than any other state by far. It’s not an easy place for wildlife to survive. Yet countless wildlife species from bald eagles to bobcats are doing just that.

But what happens when you inject climate change into the mix? Superstorms and sea level rise, coastal erosion and salt water intrusion, invasive species, disrupted life cycles and wildlife disease.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation is excited to introduce the ‘State of Change’ podcast that explores how climate change is affecting wildlife in our state. Hosted by CWF executive director David Wheeler and produced by Matt Wozniak, each episode highlights a different climate change issue – and every story helps paint a portion of the big picture of our changing world.

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Bayshore Adventure Program Inspires Love Of Wildlife, Sparks Interest In Conservation Careers

Friday, August 30th, 2019

Getting kids excited about a career in science is no walk in the park, but thanks to the Bayshore Adventure Program, it is a week at the marina.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation, the State Parks Department and the Leonardo State Marina held the Bayshore Adventure Program for 40 Monmouth County 8-11 year olds in August. The program gives kids  the chance to peek into the lives of a variety of science based professionals through exciting, hands-on activities that foster exploration and discovery of the natural world. 

Bayshore Adventure attendees with Conserve Wildlife Foundation
and OceanFirst Foundation Staff
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